Analyzing Biopsychological Disorders

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Analyzing Biopsychological Disorders
Bonnie Montgomery

Analyzing Biopsychological Disorders
Part A
Biopsychology is a biological approach to psychology. Historically, researchers believed that neuropsychological disorders were of the brain, and psychological disorders were of the mind. Now, psychologists understand that these distinctions do not exist. Biological approaches to psychological disorders direct psychologists to consider the active cause and effective treatments of major psychological disorders. These major psychological disorders include schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, and Tourette syndrome (Pinel, 2009.) Schizophrenia is an arduous psychiatric disease. This disease is difficult to treat, and endure. The symptoms of schizophrenia include problems paying attention, disordered cognitive processes, general lack of emotional response, catatonic behavior, delusions, and hallucinations (Eisenburg & Berman, 2010.) Symptoms may vary depending on the different types of schizophrenia. Paranoid schizophrenics usually experience anxiety, and anger. A subject that is affected by paranoid schizophrenia often believes that someone or something is trying to harm them or their loved ones. Disorganized schizophrenia usually affects thought processes, and people who are affected often behave in a child-like manner. A subject with catatonic schizophrenia may not move, interact with others, or he or she may experience a constant state of unrest. Undifferentiated types may exhibit several symptoms from each type (Pub Med Health, 2010.) Schizophrenia is implicated in several areas of the brain. These areas include the forebrain, hindbrain, and the limbic system. Schizophrenia is theorized to be caused by a disruption of the functional circuits of the brain. Although, researchers are unsure about the particular areas of brain involved the hippocampus, frontal lobe, temporal lobe, thalamus, cingulate gyrus, and amygdala may be included in the particular circuits. A subject with schizophrenia may have several structural changes in his or her brain. These changes usually occur in the forebrain and include a lessening of grey matter in the frontal lobe, and a decrease in brain activity. Also, patients with schizophrenic disorder may have larger than normal basal nuclei, and ventricles. The amygdala and hippocampus are usually smaller than average (Lundbeck Institute, 2009.) The causal factors of schizophrenia include genetics, birth complications, early infections, traumatic injury, autoimmune reactions, and stress (Pinel, 2009.) Research also indicates that there may be a specific chromosomal vulnerability in schizophrenia because four out of the nine genes that involve synapse and neurotransmission are located within chromosome six. Many genetic susceptibility elements contribute a small increase in the risk of schizophrenia (Chu & Liu, 2010.) The dopamine theory suggests that a person who is affected by schizophrenia may have an excess of the neurotransmitter dopamine. The excessive amount of dopamine may be explained by an abnormality in the brain processes that causes over-production, or problems eliminating dopamine from the body. However, recent research suggests that other neurotransmitters such as serotonin, glutamate, and GABA may be implicated in schizophrenia. The use of the drug clozapine was the most common drug in the treatment of schizophrenia. Clozapine affects receptors that are not primarily D2 receptors. The effects that this drug has exhibited on patients with schizophrenia indicate that other receptors may be responsible. Also, many neuroleptics block D2 receptors within hours, but full treatment effects are not obtained for several weeks. This indicates that other receptors must be affected to treat schizophrenia (Pinel, 2009.) The treatment of schizophrenic patients includes the use of antipsychotic medications. In 2008, The Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention...
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